Monday, July 27, 2009

Stikcy Posts

Blogger's posts are by default displayed in the reverse chronological order (i.e. the most recent post is displayed first). This means that, as and when you write new posts, the visitors to your blog's homepage get to see those new posts.

A sticky post is a post that gets stuck to the homepage and remains at the top no matter how many other posts you write. This is very useful if you want to make your blog index page similar to that of a normal website, which has the same homepage all the time.

The trick is to manipulate the post date and time of the particular post that you want to remain as the homepage. All you have to do is to set the date and time of that post to somewhere in the future. For example, if this post is forward-dated to, say, July 26th 2010, it will remain on the index page for another year. The farther you set the post date, the more it stays stuck at the top.

The "Post date and time" settings are found at the bottom of the post editor window, and are illustrated in the figure below.

Remember to first publish your post in the normal way and then to modify the post date and time from the edit post mode. If you forward-date the post before its initial publishing, then it will go as a scheduled post.

Other than creating the pseudo homepage, this trick is useful to create notices that you want to stay on top for some time. For example, if you are organizing some event that occurs in two months time and you want all the readers to your blog during the next two months to see that notice, you can forward-date it by two months so that it will remain at the top until the event is over.

Another thing you might want to do is removing the displaying of the post date and time from the Post Page Options section. Otherwise, your visitors might get the feeling that they have time traveled to reach your blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

HOWTO: Add a Read More Option

Please follow this better Read More option, instead of the one described here.

If your blog contains long posts and you want to only show a selected snippet of each post on your homepage, here’s a simple method to add a “Read More” option to hide part of a post on the homepage (and also on archive pages).

  • Go to Layout -> Edit HTML and click the ‘Expand Widget Templates’ check-box.
  • Then locate the </head> tag and add the code shown in red in the following snippet, above that tag.
<style><b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
span.fullpost {display:none;}


  • Then locate the <data:post.body/> element and add the code shown in red below.
<div class='post-body entry-content'>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'><br/>
<a expr:href='data:post.url'>Read More</a>


  • Then for each post that you want to display a summary, you have to add the following piece of code enclosing the part that you want to hide. (Do this from the Edit Html tab of the post editor)
This is a sample long post. Only these two lines are visible on the homepage.
<span class="fullpost">This sentence, which is enclosed inside the HTML code
shown in red, will be displayed only when a visitor clicks on the Read More

Expandable Post Summaries

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aligning the Header Image

In a previous post I talked about how the Blogger’s header image gets resized depending on the size of the image, the available space in the header and the configuration of the header widget. In this one, I will answer another question I get so often from my readers; “How can I center the header image?" This handy tip will help you not only to center align the header image, but also to right align it, if required.

First add the header image as you would normally do it. Then, to center Blogger’s header image, simply add the following CSS snippet to your template’s skin. (Read this to learn more about the Blogger template structure)

For placement “Behind title and description” add:

#header-inner {
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;

For placement “Instead of title and description” add:

#header-inner img {
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;

You can add it anywhere inside the skin. But, to keep all header related styles close apart, add it after a style such as the #header-wrapper or #header.

To right align the header image, simply remove the “margin-right: auto;” statement from the above block.

This trick has been tested on Denim, Denim Stretch, Rounders and Scribe templates. (Minima has it by default). But it should work on all other default Blogger templates. If it doesn’t work on a particular template, please let me know.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Variable for File Host Location

This post explains how you can add a template variable to define a third party file host location. The file host defined here will be used to host all the custom images provided free with The Blogger Guide's various popular HOWTOs such as the three column and wider two column template conversions.

Go to Layout -> Edit HTML mode and add the variable as described below.

The template variable we add here is of type automatic. To incorporate it, simply add the code shown in red below, right to the end of your template's Variable declaration section. (Usually, the last variable on a default Blogger template is the endSide variable)

<Variable name="endSide" description="End side in blog language"
type="automatic" default="right" value="right">
<Variable name="imageHost" description="Image Host Location"
type="automatic" default=""


To learn more about Blogger template variables, read the article shown in Related Posts below.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Screen Resolution and Template Size

What is the best screen resolution to target a web site template design? This is an important question for those who are interested in designing templates and also who customize templates. That is because the screen resolution is a determining factor when it comes to what your website’s visitors see and don’t see.

Firstly, what is screen resolution? In simple terms, it is the number of pixels (or dots) that make up your entire screen. It is usually expressed as the number of pixels horizontal in to number of pixels vertical. For example, a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 means that a screen can display 1024 pixels across and 768 pixels down. The total number of dots that make up your entire monitor is the multiplication of those two numbers.

It is difficult to pick one right resolution to target your template’s size. Monitors used by Internet users around the world range in resolutions from 640 x 480 (very rare now) to 1600 x 1200 or higher. Further, as technology advances and hardware becomes cheaper, more and more people will move in to high resolution monitors. According to, in January 2009, 96% of its visitors had resolutions of 1024 x 768 or higher. The flip side is that 4% still has 800 x 600 resolutions.

Some time ago, websites were designed targeting an 800 x 600 resolution. But now that the share of that resolution has gone down significantly, the current practice is to optimize a website design for 1024 x 768, a fact even recommended by Jakob Nielsen, the web usability guru, back in 2006.

So what’s the use of this knowledge for the regular blogger? Well, if you want to use a custom third party template or go for a modification of the existing template by adding a new column or increasing its width, check whether the resulting template fits within the 1024 x 768 resolution. You should worry more about the horizontal resolution than the vertical one. Generally, if your custom or modified template has a width of less than 1000 pixels then you can safely assume that a very large percentage of your readers can see the entire width your site without having to scroll horizontally.